H

Someone is killing women, most of whom have the connection of unwanted pregnancies. The vicious nature of the crimes and the choice of victims matches the M.O. of notorious Korean serial killer, 26 year old Shin-Hyun. The problem is Shin-Hyun has already handed himself in and admitted to 6 killings prier to this recent spate. Hard-bitten female Detective Kim Mi Yun, played by Yum Jung-ah (A Tale of Two Sisters, Three... Extremes,) and her new partner Detective Kang Tae Hyun race against time to solve the murders and put a stop to the horrific killings.

Jong-hyuk Lee’s debut feature film H is one of those twisty serial killer flicks with an obvious nod to David Fincher’s ever popular Seven. A team of detectives follow a twisty trail as they track down what appears to be one or maybe more copycat serial killers that are using the exact modus operandi as deadly lady killer and all-round twisted young psychopath, Shin Hyun (Cho Seung-woo). New boy Kang Tae, teams up with the masculine Kim Mi Yan who worked on the Shin-Hyun case and easy going detective Park, played by Sung Ji-ru (Public Enemy, Memories of Murder) as the three try and piece the evidence together.

Jong-hyuk Lee obviously has a good eye behind the camera as H is a good looking film with some great shots and a sensible moody atmosphere, unfortunately, or fortunately depending how you look at it, this is really the only thing which saves this film from falling the wrong side of OK. The characters are by the numbers caricatures, serial killer Shin-Hyun is not convincing as a charismatic and mentally superior “puppet master” manipulating the cops emotions (unless the actors aim was to portray someone you would happily slap about for half an hour because he is the worlds least creepy serial killer.) Kang Tae is meant to be somewhat emotional and volatile, but his overacting and rediculous outbursts when he is supposedly being wound up by the Shin-Hyun don’t make much sense at all. Sung-ru is passable as the chubby and blase third wheel in the team but again his character is very cliched. Competing with Shin Hyun in the crap character stakes is cold and hardened (women in a mans world cliche) Kim Mi Yan, who is, dare I say it … just crap, nothing about this character works, she’s a walking talking stereotype with zero screen charisma. Her “I must make myself a man to work in a mans world” hair and clothing mean she would likely get taken less seriously and the ridiculous look she has on her face most of the time was about as convincing as one of those emails from the wife of Omar Ahmed's widow asking you to open a bank account and look after his oil fortune. Gore wise, there are a few nasty moments with the highlight (If you can call it that,) coming near the beginning, as a still living fetus kicks its leg out through the sliced stomach of its dead mother (nice.)

The twisty plot (essential in this kind of movie) is a passable one, though in no way as clever as it thinks it is and many viewers will see certain things coming a mile off, but it works to a point and certainly is serviceable. Really though it’s the way the movie looks and sounds that means you make it to the end and feel like you haven’t wasted your time. Hyuk frames his shots nicely and achieves the stylistic look he was obviously going for. With a better plot and a bit more attention given to his characters, there is a good chance he could create a fantastic film, H however is not it.

Style not content makes H a watchable if not particularly satisfying film.